I’ve become very protective of my time…
Did you make New Year’s resolutions? I did and did not make resolutions. I don’t like making year-long commitments to anything other than to the Hubster, my kids, and the cats, and the only reason I make such lengthy commitments to them is because they’re living, breathing creatures capable of making my life miserable if I don’t do what I should do for them. Seriously, if I fail to feed someone, they might poop in my shoes. And no, I refuse to specify whether it’s the cats, the kids, or the Hubster who does the pooping.
So I won’t make any promises regarding anything else for a year. I know better. A year is too long to plan for. But I am willing to make a resolution for say, the next three months. Three months I can do. I can comprehend that amount of time. I can tell you what’s going to be going on in three months. In this case, it’ll be the end of Girl Scout cookie season, the start of spring, planning for the troop camping trip, Easter, warmer weather, etc. I can get my head around that. I’m pretty sure where I’ll be at that point in the year, and that lets me plan out how to handle a resolution for three months.
Plus I’ve read all these articles that say to only make resolutions for three months, because that’s about the amount of time most people can handle for the reasons I mentioned above. (I like being validated by popular science.)
One of my resolutions for January, February and March is to schedule each day the night before. I actually have this in a checklist app on my iPad, so I can track how well I keep up with this resolution for the next 3 months. The idea here is to look at my calendar each night, and assign blocks of times to the things I know I need or want to do. And I decided to get into the details on this. I’ve been scheduling time for things like exercise and work, but I’ve also scheduled time each day for chores and eating and bathing. Yes, I am scheduling when I take a bath. Because with two kids in school, I have come to learn the hard way that if I don’t schedule things, they won’t happen.
Plus, I’ve also learned that if I don’t fill up my calendar in advance, someone else will be more than happy to fill it up for me.
It’s nice for me to be able to look at my calendar when someone asks me to do something and be able to say, “Sorry, I don’t have time for that this week. My schedule is full. I have appointments all day, every day this week.” The trick, of course, is to actually have those blocks of time schedules, but also to list them on a schedule in such a way that it looks like each of those blocks of time is an appointment with someone very important. And really, they are appointments with someone very important. They are appointments with ME.
So yeah, I will schedule my time at the YMCA… with my personal trainer… who just happens to be me. No one will ask me to skip an appointment with my personal trainer. I just don’t tell them that my personal trainer happens to be me. Because it’s none of their damn business.
And yeah, I will schedule an appointment at a local spa… which just happens to be my own bath tub. Spa appointments are an investment in my health, and no one will ask me to give up a spa appointment, because hey, it’s an APPOINTMENT. So what if the spa is my own bath tub, and the appointment is only with me? It’s important that I get to my spa appointment on time!
On my calendar, helping the kids with homework becomes an appointment with their tutor – me. Drawing webcomics and writing blog posts become appointments with a client – me. Doing laundry and washing dishes become appointments with my cleaning service – me. Watching cartoons on TV (hell yes, I’m going to schedule time for that!) becomes an appointment to do research for my most important client – ME!
ME! ME! ME! My schedule, I have decided, needs to be all about ME! My priorities, my needs, my family, my down time, my hobbies, MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
For the next three months, every night before I go to bed I will schedule the next day. And while it may be a pain in the butt to put down every single little thing I need/want to do for myself and my family, it’s much better than leaving a lot of free time on the calendar for someone else to try and steal.
So, did you make any resolutions? Let me know!